Posts Tagged ‘Lehmann Smith’

“I thought that I would want so many in my lifetime / But now the only one is you,” Totally Mild lead singer Elizabeth Mitchell sings a few minutes into the band’s sensational Her, an album that confronts the stasis, the beauty, the ennui and the comfort that comes with domesticity. Blessed with a voice that sounds like your grandma’s finest crystal, Mitchell sings haunting ballads (“Lucky Stars”), jangly indie rock (“Take Today”) and slow-crawling burners (“More”). It adds up to a bracingly pretty album, which for my money also has the single best line on any song this year: “Heaven’s knowing what you want when you’re young,” Mitchell sings on the album’s centerpiece “Today Tonight.”


Following on from their acclaimed 2015 debut Down Time (released on Bedroom Suck in Australia, Fire Records in the UK), Her is a shining jewel of an album. Elizabeth Mitchell’s voice is a thing of unearthly beauty, capable of soaring and swooping in shiver-inducing ways. As a songwriter she is equally arresting, addressing desires and dreams with affecting frankness. About the new album, Mitchell says “Her is a record of failure and victory, new desire, stale romance, queer domesticity and what comes when the party is over. I was torn between a new domestic life and the impulse to tear it all away with bad choices. I fell in love, but I wrestled for independence. I was always trying to prove that I didn’t need anyone; my wife, my friends, my band. Her is a document of a woman struggling with the idea of potential. We are told that we could be limitless, but we wrestle with unseen personal and structural walls.”

In Totally Mild she is joined by guitar magician Zachary Schneider, drummer Ashley Bundang and bassist Lehmann Smith. In the last few years the band have developed a quasi-psychic intensity, surging forward or pulling back in seamless unison. This intensity has been captured in crystalline form by producer and one-time Architecture In Helsinki member James Cecil. Her is polished and spacious, while never losing the feeling of a band in full flight.